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Power lines a bit too dominant

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Vincent Fischer
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Having power lines on the map is important. However, it would be nice if a way could be found to display them that wasn‘t so „dominant“.

They are so omnipresent sometimes that they distract and make other info more difficult to see. Here is an example:

 

CF299C3B 1387 4EF2 98A3 F2C66D2E3E35
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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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I totally agree with you, Vince. I found that they are so prominent because of their white edges when absolute terrain is active. When abs terrain is inactive with a mostly bright/white background they are way less intrusive. So my suggestion would be to remove the white edges of this vector brush

Power lines most prominent, more than roads and railroads with abs terrain on versus off:

image
image

BR

Albrecht

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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I asked our designer for an opinion 😉

 

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Stewart Buckingham
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Perhaps it is when RELATIVE terrain is selected that they should be highlighted - if you are in planning mode using the "valley terrain" function of relative terrain, knowing a powerline crosses the valley you are considering following at low level would  be very important, and in flight, while relative terrain generally could be very helpful in poor conditions, again the presence of powerlines that are not shown prominently could spoil your whole day!

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leif
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Posted by: @deeahbtinternet-com

very helpful in poor conditions

In poor conditions I will not focus on an app display, but rather look outside to find my way.  A power line spanning a valley is of course an important information, but Vincent showed us a relatively flat example.

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Bernd has removed the white outlines, so next version the powerlines will look less prominent.

 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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There are a couple of issues with the map textures/ brushes. I generally have the feeling those are more optimized for "terrain elevation" off. Maybe you guys are all flying in flat countries ? !

Rivers are a very important navigation tool, because they are very prominent in the landscape due to terrain relief. In E4, they are way too tiny lines barely visible.

Main roads are sometimes barely visible in my area, because they have the same color as the terrain.

Tertiary roads are way too prominent, because they are white on the colored terrain elevation.

image

I tinkered a bit with the brushes for fixes

image

Couldn't get the rivers more bold by changing the size of the texture brush

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Bernd Seeger
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Hello Albrecht,

thanks for your feedback!   🙂

You are right, the overall Map-Design is indeed done with "Absolute Terrain OFF" and "Hillshading ON" in mind.
A long time ago, we have got complains about the Mapview beeing not "clear and light and easy to read" enough...
And we could solve that by going for a lighter Map Background and a (less colourfull) Hillshading.
And also all the ICAO-compliant Airspace and Aerodata depiction has been done with this lighter "Hillshade ON" only as a basic setup.
Tunrning ON "Absolute Terrain" leads especially in high mountainious areas to a darkish map with a little more unballanced depiction of items... 
All this ist "finding compromises"  ;-)))
(And arround 95% of Europe is not "18000ft height terrain")

We will try to "ballance" it still a bit better,  but to be honest:
My suggestion:
The verry best "EV4 Map" visual experience, you will get with
Absolute Terrain OFF
Hillshading ON
even in the Austria & Swiss Alps Region you will get a picture-perfect mapview.

Please try it and tell me what you think.

Thank you

:-))

cheers
bernd

 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Hi Bernd,

thanks for your advice! I think here we have really a different philosophy dependent on the region we are typically flying in. I try to explain my point, and I would love to have more input from other users who fly in flat regions or in mountainous areas like me. 

I live and fly mostly in the Jura which is a considerable 5000 ft barrier, in marginal weather you will have a lot of orographic clouds and rain and it can kill you if you try to cross it with a low cloud deck (sadly this doesn't take 18000 ft mountains):

image

Look at E4 with abs terrain on:

image

and terrain off:

image

As you can see, the entire mountain range is practically invisible when terrain is off and only hill shading used. With the Jura I personally know where it is, but when planning a less familiar route I need the map to show this type of granite clouds ? even in the view from above, not only the VPV.

So I strongly believe that the textures / brushes should be optimized to also work with terrain color-coded active. Here attached my proposals for more balanced primaryroad_5 and tertiaryroad brushes. And please make the rivers more bold...

Best

Albrecht

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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I would like to adjust the E4 shading similar to the following examples. They are quite similar to E4's shading, except at low elevations E4 terrain is too brownish already making mountain ranges less prominent than they should be. Also the "conflict" between flat-landers and mountain flyers would be defused, because terrain shading would not kick in below let's say 1500 ft elevation, leaving the "lighter" impression that you desire in the lowlands.

For comparison how to deal with terrain elevation coding two examples: The French and the Swiss ICAO charts. I personally like the French best, it does leave the chart basically white below 1000 ft and has a light, inobtrusive, warning about mountains. The French can be found here online: Jura in French OACI

image

 

image

Another example is the Swiss ICAO. They also leave the terrain < 1000 ft unshaded, highlighting the mountains only:

image

Cheers

Albrecht

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Bernd Seeger
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Hi Albrecht,

I was also already thinking about a little tweak in the Absolute-Terrain shading colours itselve. First step to reduce saturation a bit - so other coloured items can stand out a bit more.

>
> because terrain shading would not kick in below let's say 1500 ft elevation.
>

Hmmm... yes but thats exactly the "problem of ballancing" I mentioned before  😉
For somebody mostly flying at the NorthSea Coast, a 1500ft Terrain is exactly the same as for a Jura flyer, departing at 3500ft and facing a 5000ft mountain ridge...  🙂

(Ask Rob in the netherlands - his Runway is at MINUS 12ft... If I only pile up some excravated soil in my garden, Its an High-Alert Aerial Obstacle for him  :-))))

But I got your Idea of keeping the Absolute Terrain as a BaseMap for "avoiding granite clouds"...   let me try some things and tweaks, without dissapointing the flatlanders too much

🙂

cheers
bernd

P.S.:
yes - the river-Lines will become thicker as Rob now implemented an aditional "wider-Rivers-Layer" information into the Database   🙂

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Posted by: @berndseeger

(Ask Rob in the netherlands - his Runway is at MINUS 12ft... If I only pile up some excravated soil in my garden, Its an High-Alert Aerial Obstacle for him  :-))))

? ? ? he may need a license for submarines! And he definitively needs more horsepowers to deal with your termite hills! To give you a little comfort: death valley would be way worse to deal with (-282 ft) ...

On a more serious side, look how the French depict let's say the Ardennes (the closest 1500 ft terrain to the north sea coast I am aware of). That is enough shading for your garden soil hills in my view ? 

Another serious comment (I have seen this elsewhere in the forum, but I don't find it back): E4 needs way more hilltop markers with elevation, especially inside mountain ranges.

E4:

image

F OACI:

image

 

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Bernd Seeger
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Posted by: @spornrad

On a more serious side, look how the French depict let's say the Ardennes (the closest

jepp... might be OK...  only thing is, we have to spare the greenish colours from the terrain colour gradient, because we need this for our nice forrest layer.

But we can do this by staying more ocre/yellowish ? 

 

cheers

bernd

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Yep. The greenish is from their forest depiction too. The legend of the FR OACI elevation code has no green:

image
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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Posted by: @spornrad

Another serious comment (I have seen this elsewhere in the forum, but I don't find it back): E4 needs way more hilltop markers with elevation, especially inside mountain ranges.

If somebody can find a source that provide these spotelevations for europe in such a detail that would be great. 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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I found some climber sites, not sure if it may be helpful. This one claims they have a list of 2

https://peakery.com/region/Europe-mountains/peaks/#order=elevation&page=1

 

Better: these listings about topographic "prominence" may be more helpful because they include GPS coordinates as well as elevations and names. They are typically ranked by "relative elevation" (R500 means relative height 500 m above surrounding topography). In the section "Alps and Western Europe" I found quite nice and detailed lists of the peaks in my Jura environment. They seem to include most if not all EU countries

 

from a list collection in

http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/prominence.html

They have the data in different formats, txt, excel and KMZ

Example alps from

http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/reascent/Majors/Europe/ALPS589.txt

 

Text example:

REF         LAT        LONG     ELEV  DROP       ------- SADDLE -------  
>>>>
A0001  45�49'57"   06�51'52"    4808  4695     113   60�42'12"   37�07'46" F     MONT BLANC
A0002  47�04'27"   12�41'40"    3798  2428    1370   47�00'12"   11�30'26" A     GROSSGLOCKNER
A0003  46�32'14"   08�07'34"    4274  2279    1995   46�14'59"   08�01'31" CH    FINSTERAARHORN
A0004  46�53'07"   10�52'02"    3768  2261    1507   46�50'05"   10�30'32" A     WILDSPITZE
A0005  46�22'56"   09�54'29"    4049  2234    1815   46�24'08"   09�41'50" CH    PIZ BERNINA
A0006  47�25'13"   13�03'45"    2941  2181     760   47�21'18"   12�48'33" A     HOCHK�NIG
A0007  45�56'13"   07�52'01"    4634  2165    2469   45�52'08"   07�10'17" CH    MONTE ROSA (DUFOURSPITZE)
A0008  47�28'31"   13�36'23"    2995  2136     859   47�24'43"   13�23'38" A     HOHER DACHSTEIN
A0009  46�26'05"   11�51'03"    3343  2134    1209   46�43'40"   12�13'32" I     LA MARMOLADA (PUNTA PENIA)
A0010  44�40'03"   07�05'27"    3841  2062    1779   45�02'43"   06�39'29" I     MONTE VISO
A0011  46�22'41"   13�50'13"    2864  2048     816   46�30'23"   13�31'44" SLO   TRIGLAV

 

For similar lists you may also want to have a look at http://www.peaklist.org/lists.html

 

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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The viewfinderpanorama.org site is perfect, nice find! I don't know if it has the resolution as your French OACI chart example, but we'll have a play with it the upcoming week ? 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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? ? The OACI is almost giving too many peaks. Suffice if you have a couple of peak elevations in the same range, to give you an idea of a safe altitude

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Stewart Buckingham
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That indeed looks interesting. Rob will recall this is a subject I had expressed some interest in!

However, I am very puzzled by the first line in the above tabulation. I'm not at all sure what the  lat and long in the two final columns refers to; in general the values are not too far different from the values in the first two columns - perhaps they refer to the location of the point whose elevation is given in the "DROP" column? However, the first line in the above table is really odd in that respect - lat and long of the peak is listed as

45�49'57"   06�51'52" 
but the "other" lat/long in the right-hand columns are given as 60�42'12" 37�07'46" - a point well almost 1,500 miles away -
in Russia (I think?), 460 nm NE of Riga!
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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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@deeahbtinternet-com

I guess the first entry saddle coordinates are simply wrong. Fortunately we won't need these "saddle points" for labeling the peak elevations. They are only used as a reference to calculate topographic re-ascent or prominence, as explained in http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/prominence.html#def

 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Maybe if this viewfinders data are working out in E4 we can ask the crowd here to volunteer to verify the peaks in their areas manually.

With https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenTopoMap

that should not be too cumbersome. I would volunteer to check the Swiss and French Jura 🙂

BR

Albrecht

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Last week I spent most of the time working with the viewfinders data trying to merge it with our existing data (the viewfinders data only has peaks; terrain elevation for flatter land isn't in, so for that we keep using our existing data). A few difficulties had to be handled due to duplicate spotelevations from multiple sources that where not easy to remove because of slightly different latitude/longitude/elevations, but in the end I think it ended up more or less ok. Currently new country datafiles are beeing build for the  "mountain" countries Spain and France, and also Western UK should have significant more spotelevations when this process is complete. 

Swiss is completed, and here are two screenshots; one the old situation and the other the new one :

spotElevations LSGS old

 

spotElevations LSGS new
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Vincent Fischer
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@rob-weijers

Many thanks for this investment Rob. That is a huge improvement and help in flying around the Swiss mountains.

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Stewart Buckingham
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This looks a really promising development, Rob! Personally I would like to see a comma after the "thousands" digits for ease of reading (but I remember you explaining why that was very difficult for the airspace labels so I guess the same applies here)

One point, though - I think you need to run a quick sanity-check routine on the numbers you get from this source - please look at the odd point on your example above:-

New swiss spotheights

 

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Bernhard Daenzer
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nice find, that POI list!!!

 

now we only need to get the mountain passes going... 😉

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Cool. That is exactly what was needed for mountain flying.

Super job, thanks!

Cheers

Albrecht

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Posted by: @deeahbtinternet-com

odd point on your example

I looked the odd point up on the Swiss ICAO. It is "Les Diablerets" elev. 10531 ft. In the old dataset it was already marked at 10528 ft. Maybe there is a problem in the "duplicate removal" routine that kicked out the correct elevation?

image

I don't think you find 6 ft in Switzerland, unless you drill 🙂

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Stewart Buckingham
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You might need a slightly longer drill - I think that's a zero rather than a six ???? ? 

But thanks for identifying what is missing! Hopefully your data might help Rob identify what went wrong in this case.

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Gee, I really need to get those geezer reading glasses. Of course it's a 0. But the difference is only relevant for Bernd's compost heaps in the Netherlands I suppose ? 

Was more relevant when I landed NORDO the other day on a major airfield only to find on the ground the frequency I dialled had a 0 instead of an 8 tssss...

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Alternative (fact) explanation: Maybe it is an impact area now ? 

image
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Stewart Buckingham
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Posted by: @spornrad

I landed NORDO the other day on a major airfield only to find on the ground the frequency I dialled had a 0 instead of an 8

"There are those who have done xxxx.... and those who one day will..."!

PS - good spot that it is one that was in the old database! I'm sure that is significant. It's the ONLY one in the screenshot above of the old data. Until you pointed it out today, when I looked at the "old data" screenshot above I could not see ANY spotheights in it!

Also interesting that the new data puts the dot on what appears to be the ridgeline (judging by the hillshading), whereas the old data puts it about 500m further north, and clearly on the flank of the slope. That old data was was from an official, published, USAF worldwide digital database, but in fact the USAF had created it many years ago by taking measurements off 1:1,000,000 paper maps so this new data should be much better, as well as more comprehensive.

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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The viewfinder table puts it correctly at 10531.5 ft. And I like your observation that the spots seem to sit smack on the ridge lines.

A0210  46�18'14"   07�11'20"    3210   959    2251   46�19'54"   07�17'12" CH    SOMMET DES DIABLERETS
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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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I found a few processing errors and wanted to give it a try to see how it looks with mountain names labelled also when available. Also due to the high density of spotelevation points in mountainous areas we had to create a decluttering mechanism. Here are two screenshots of the Sion area again :

 

spotElevations LSGS new v2

 

spotElevations LSGS new v2 mountain names

 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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In your first screenshot there are a lot of spots without an elevation. Is that declutter?

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Stewart Buckingham
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This is a really impressive development, Rob. Big "thank-you" and lots of respect to Albrecht for suggesting this data source!

I'll leave it to the locals to comment on how useful names are - are they helpful for reporting positions?

There seem to be quite a lot of dots without heights, I presume this is a decluttering compromise; do the heights appear if you zoom in? But if it is just a matter of decluttering, I'm puzzled by the "un-numbered" dot which is about 040 degrees, 3.5nm from the right-hand-end of the scale bar - there does not seem to be anything in that area which could clutter it; others in much denser areas are labelled?

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Posted by: @deeahbtinternet-com

There seem to be quite a lot of dots without heights, I presume this is a decluttering compromise; do the heights appear if you zoom in?

Yes, dots without heights are indeed declutter. The heights appear when zooming in.

I tweaked the decluttering a bit more; now dots also get decluttered so spotelevations are visible when zoomed out more, what was a wish expressed in the past also. 

 

 

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edea88e0d5a8c51610f60ee8ff41c2e3?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Hi Rob,

can't wait for you next release!

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leif
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Posted by: @deeahbtinternet-com

I'll leave it to the locals to comment on how useful names are - are they helpful for reporting positions?

Actually, as a non local, I would love to see the names of the highest peaks.  This will improve the general knowledge of any pilot and passenger.  Same for naming rivers and lakes.

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5c1242ce1c84de60ae1ea618ae44df33?s=80&d=retro&r=g
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Posted by: @deeahbtinternet-com

I'll leave it to the locals to comment on how useful names are - are they helpful for reporting positions?

Actually, as a non local, I would love to see the names of the highest peaks.  This will improve the general knowledge of any pilot and passenger.  Same for naming rivers and lakes.

Same for me :-). Labelling of geographical features is being worked on graduately. 

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